A Spiritual Desperate Housewives Episode

I really enjoyed tonight’s episode of Desperate Housewives, and I say this as a viewer who hasn’t cared much for this particular season.  The reason that I enjoyed it so much was that it was a spiritual episode—about repentance, forgiveness, change, love, and understanding.

There were four sub-plots in tonight’s episode.  First of all, there were the events surrounding Paul Young and Susan Delfino.  Susan needs a kidney to live, and Paul Young’s wife recently shot herself, right after declaring to the hospital that Susan will receive her kidney.  The problem is that Paul Young does not want Susan to receive his dying wife’s kidney, for he hates the people on Wysteria Lane, including Susan.  Years before, when he went to jail for killing Felicia Tillman (who actually was alive and faked her death to frame Paul), he was hurt that his so-called friends showed no concern for him through his ordeal.  The first half of this season was about Paul Young’s attempt to exact revenge on Wysteria Lane—to show them that they are no better than he is, and thus have no right to judge him.  (And, in a sense, he succeeded, for the community rioted to protest a half-way house for convicts that Paul was trying to set up.)

When Susan tries to assure Paul that his wife’s death would be worth something because she would have her kidney, Paul is livid.  He does not see Susan having his dying wife’s kidney as any sort of consolation prize.  He asks Susan why she thinks that she even deserves his wife’s kidney—when she and her friends did not reach out to his wife and accept her when she was alive.  Basically, the people of Wysteria Lane rejected her on account of her relationship with Paul, who was known to have killed Martha Huber, the sister of Felicia Tillman.  That was why Felicia Tillman faked her death and pinned the blame on Paul: to get back at him for killing Martha.  When Felicia Tillman was found to be alive by the police who arrested her, however, Paul was released from jail, and Felicia herself was sent to prison.

But here was the twist: Paul’s wife was actually Felicia Tillman’s daughter, who was part of Felicia’s continuing plot to get back at Paul.  Paul did not know this for a while, but he was livid when he learned about it.  He threw his wife out of the house, even though she loved him, and had forsaken her mother’s plot.  And her mother rejected her.  Alone and desperate, she committed suicide.

On tonight’s episode, Paul visited Felicia Tillman in jail, and they both lamented that their feud cost the life of an innocent person.  Paul reflected on how his wife loved him, even though he did not deserve it, and how she was like that towards others who rejected her, as well.  And that gave him the strength to let Susan have his wife’s kidney.  Paul learned to let go of his rage.  He repented, and he forgave.  (At the end of the episode, however, we saw that Felicia Tillman did not.)

Second, there was the story of Renee, who is played by Vanessa Williams.  Renee was planning to throw a party, even though a number of her neighbors thought that was tasteless, considering that someone in the community had just shot herself.  When Gabby confronted Renee for being so shallow, Renee responded that Paul’s wife was selfish to kill herself, for she hurt the people who cared about her.  The reason that Renee felt so strongly about this was that her own mother had killed herself when Renee was really young.  Gabby could empathize with Renee because she had lost her father as a child.  Gabby replaced her judgment of Renee with understanding—seeing where someone else was coming from.

Third, there was the story of Bree and Andrew.  Andrew is drinking too much, and his husband is leaving him.  Andrew’s mother, Bree, is concerned, for she herself is a recovering alcoholic.  It turned out that Andrew was drinking too much because of his loneliness, emptyness, and boredom.  In the aftermath of the suicide of Paul’s wife, Bree feels strongly that she cannot sit by when someone is lonely and isolated, especially when it’s someone she cares about—her son.  And Andrew, although he is annoyed by his Mom’s intervention, reaches out to receive her help.

Finally, there was the story of Tom Sciavo.  Tom is offered a high-ranking position in a company, on account of the recommendations of his friends and neighbors.  But Tom doesn’t want to abandon his friend, Carlos.  Tom’s wife, Lynette, confronts him about his hesitation and timidity, and asks him why, even at age 46, he has not yet established himself in the business world.  Tom is angry at Lynette at first, but her talk with him motivates him to get his act together.  Tom changed from being a passive person, to becoming someone with a little more initiative.

This was an awesome episode!  Next Sunday, Desperate Housewives will not be on, but there will be a two-hour Brothers and Sisters.  I liked last year’s two-hour episode, which I blogged about here.  I hope that next week’s two-hour episode will be good as well.  I have been disappointed by Brothers and Sisters this season, but next week’s episode may surprise me!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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